Oct 19, 2000
DP was not on the radio Wednesday because he was stranded in Denver from a flight that originated in LA and headed for NY. But near Denver, the pilot told the passengers that "I have bad news."
They wait silently. The pilot says that he's detected a bad smell in the cockpit and they land 20 minutes later in Denver and are stranded there overnight.
Prager took four of the five members of his family to New York for his debate with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on male sexuality.
DP broadcast today from NY.
DP talked about the debate and how weird Al Gore comes across. How he tries to intimidate George Bush during the debate by walking over to him and standing over him.
Barbara Bush told GMA today that when that happened, she thought Al was going to punch her son.
In his second hour, Prager interviewed Diane Ravitch, an expert on public education.
In his third hour, DP discussed the Philadelphia 76er basketball player, Alan Iverson, a black mutiply tattood star who's released his second rap album.
NEW YORK (AP) - After meeting with Allen Iverson, NBA commissioner David Stern does not plan to fine or suspend the Philadelphia guard for recording a rap album with controversial lyrics.
Iverson agreed on Thursday to take steps to eliminate the most offensive words from the final version of his album.
``The lyrics that have been attributed to Allen Iverson's soon-to-be-released rap CD are coarse, offensive and anti-social,'' Stern said in a strongly worded statement. ``However, I have come to understand, unfortunately, that certain rap artists regularly spew such lyrics to a wide audience at great profit to some of America's most successful entertainment companies.
``Notwithstanding the music's wide popularity, Allen, by even recording his lyrics, has done a disservice to himself, the Philadelphia 76ers, his teammates and perhaps all NBA players. However, I do not believe that the NBA should be in the business of regulating artistic expression, no matter how repugnant,'' Stern said.
Stern's statement said Iverson had made a commitment to eliminate the offensive lyrics, which include violent references and derogatory terms about gays, women and blacks.
A players union official who accompanied Iverson to the meeting said Iverson had already changed some of the lyrics prior to meeting with Stern.
DP read some of the lyrics, which included threats to kill any homosexual who approached the star. The lyrics were far more foul than anything Atlanta Braves relief pitcher John Rocker said, but this country expects higher standards of behavior from whites than blacks.
DP: If you do it on a CD, it's called art. If you tell a reporter, 'If a gay man approached me, he would lie with maggots," you'd be creamed. But do it on a CD, and you're excused.
Distinguished freelance journalist Jeffrey Winbush writes Luke: There's a reason I don't write about the ouster of Slobodan Milosivec or why the stock market is in the crapper. Those are subjects out of my area of expertise. Apparently, sports is not one of your strong spots either.
"That's simple. Because Allen Iverson is black and people must expect a lower standard of behavior from a black than a white."
That might be sarcasm or your true sentiments, Luke. I can't tell from reading on a website. However, there are just as many black people who are disgusted and appalled with Allen Iverson's rap lyrics as there were white people who were disgusted and appalled with John Rocker. There's no double standard here. You're looking to make one. Iverson has been getting slammed on sports radio just as much as Rocker ever did. Iverson also gets slammed for his tatoos, his lack of respect for rules and authority, for his B-boy, "keepin' it real" lifestyle and his just generally low-class/no-class act.
Just like Rocker, Iverson has a First Amendment right to say whatever he likes about whomever he dislikes---and then he has to suffer the consequences of his big mouth.
Filmaker Spike Lee (another black man you probably think runs off at the mouth) called Iverson's lyrics, "a 21st century ministrel show."
There has been no shortage of Blacks willing to hold Iverson accountable for his homophobic, sexist and violent-laced lyrics. The funny thing is the album isn't even out yet. Nobody knows if Iverson can even rap!
Perhaps the next time you're interviewing Max Hardcore about what kind of beer he drinks to get the right flavor for his piss when he whizzes on some "little piece of fuckmeat" you can ask him for his take on Iverson and how he demeans women, gays and others.
Ultimately, the only one Iverson demeans--just like John Rocker--is himself.
Luke replies: Nobody is going to order Iverson into psychiatric treatment, like was done to Rocker. Nobody is going to suspend Iverson, like was done to Rocker. The 76er GM said he was not going to interefere with Iverson's "art" and free speech rights.
Almost all of Iverson's peers that I've read have supported his rights to say what he wants.
And you are so wrong about the only one Iverson demeans is himself. Anyone who reads his lyrics or listens to his music is demeaned. His lyrics are far more foul than Rocker's off the cuff comments.
But it just goes back to the reason why police did not crack down on the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York earlier this year. Or the riots after the Lakers won the championship. If the people misbehaving are black or brown, we treat them more gently than if they are white.
Why Are Chinese Airmen Being Trained In US Fighter Aircraft?
Sandra writes: Dear Luke. Please forward this to Dennis Prager for his review and thoughts. This certainly is not only un American but stupid and dangerous to our remaining national security. Its a little frightening that chinese airmen are being trained in US fighter aircraft. This is one you can call on and find out the truth for yourselves, there is a great deal of hanky panky going on in our govt and military and this info. is surprising but then it is not. What are you thoughts Luke? I mean Waaas up here?
First Hand information as relayed to Kathy McDaniel 10-15-2000 A veteran who is now a truck driver was at Paul's Truck Stop, New Llano, Louisiana, Sunday morning at 2:00 A.M. New Llano, La. is only a few miles from Fort Polk, La.
The veteran noticed 6 military personnel dressed in military style flight suits in an adjoining booth, 4 men of Oriental descent, 1 American man, 1 American woman. He listened closely to their conversation and noticed that all spoke very fluent English. As they started to check out, the veteran rose and went to the register and began a conversation with the female asking her where she was from. She replied Oklahoma, and the other American looking man was from Virginia. The Veteran then asked the female about the 4 Oriental men, she responded that they were from Singapore/ Chinese forces
The veteran replied that he didn't like the idea of Communist Chinese being at Fort Polk, the female replied they didn't like it either, they had been ordered to train them to fly American Aircraft! How do you like being a part of "Operation Sitting Duck? "
So much for the lies being formatted by the Public Relations Office at Fort Polk and their continual denial that foreign troops are NOT THERE. Why not call Major Guy Rudisil, PAO, and Dan Nance, CAO, and tell them? Ph: (337) 531-2911. The veteran who relayed this story to me is willing to step forward, he himself plans to call in the A.M.
Paris writes: Luke, This is definitely the funniest piece I've ever read on your site. This is the paranoia that leads to the formation of militia groups in this country. The reason the US military trains foreign airmen is so they can fly the fighters we sell them. Not all chinese are communists. Singapore is an ally best known in this country as the city-state that canned a US graffiti vandal several years ago.
What would these paranoid types do if they found out that we train and share information with the Russians, German, Japanese and dozens of other countries. We are even supplying North Korea with a nuclear reactor. Anyways there is no reason to worry, there isn't anything of strategic value in Lousiana except for the offshore oil and Mardi Gras. And the "communists" can't reach Louisiana except by flying coach. :)
Luke says: I'm glad you find it amusing that the US is jeopardizing its national security to train Chinese Communists at Fort Poke.
Steve writes: You and some of your correspondents are just amazing. Fort Polk, located in central Louisiana, is an Army training center for basic training and Infantry AIT. They do not have pilots nor do they do pilot training there. I believe the Air Force academy is in Colorado and most flying training for both Air Force and Navy flyers takes place in Florida, Nevada or California. Singapore is an island and is an independent city-state between Malaysia and Indonesia. The stupidity on your sight is enough to make one puke at times.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has a great essay here on why men seek babes, and women seek bad boys. I think he is dead right.
Here's an excerpt: The incessant male search for escape from the rat race explains why it is that men seek out beauty in a woman. They are looking for someone who will give them that same sensation as snowboarding or wave-running or vodka tonics. They want to simply feel, rather than think. They want to be overwhelmed by a woman's beauty, to not have to struggle in order to figure out the attraction. They look to beauty as a drug that can give them an instant high. Contrary to popular belief, men are not seeking to impress friends and colleagues with trophy wives. Rather, a man wants something much more straightforward. He seeks to find someone who makes him feel good simply by looking at her and without any other exertion needed in the relationship.
And this is where men err. In seeking a momentary thrill, they will forever find themselves unfulfilled. In seeking beauty alone, they will end up empty. The real allure of having a woman in his life is not physical. It is rather that she rescues him from the constant rat race by making him feel special even when he is not producing. You are not a nobody, she tells him. You are my man. Men should be attracted, not to the female form, but to the female energy, the all-embracing quality that can see beyond their accomplishments to the real human being.
Oct 17, 2000
Are in moral decline? Prager says yes. Not that people didn't do bad before, but now people do bad but are unwilling to call it bad. Instead, moral judgments have been replaced by feelings, etc...
Oct 16, 2000
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (Author of Kosher Sex, Dean of OLAM) debating Dennis Prager (National Radio Talk show host, Author of Happiness is a Serious Problem) “Are Men Sexual Predators, or do they Seek Intimacy in Relationships?”
Moderated by Judith Regan President of Regan Books and Host of Fox Television’s Judith Regan Tonight Wednesday, October 18, 7:30pm Ballroom of Lincoln Square Synagogue Cnr of Amsterdam and 69th. Phone Sales: 212-206-1515 or web: www.smarttix.com
Luke says: In his first hour today, Denis Prager gave a further reason why he is not optimistic for peace in the Middle East. DP talked about the textbooks Palestinians give their kids. The texts teach hatred for Israel and the Jews.
In hour number two, Prager discussed a Massachusetts court ruling preventing discrimination against a high school boy who comes to school dressed as a girl.
In his final hour, DP discussed George W. Bush's fervent support for the death penalty. Texas executes more murderers than any other state.
Nelson Thurn writes on alt.radio.talk: Don't you just love how Prager CONSTANTLY rags on the legal profession? Thursday or Friday, he went on one of his tirades where he called it a "scummy, scummy profession" BUT THEN, a minute later, he announced that he was giving a speech that very same day for a law firm or association of attorneys. Good old Mr "Moral compass"----it's a "scummy, scummy profession", but if they pay him enough $$$$, he'll descend into the sewer to offer his services. BTW, if by some very slight chance Prager was actually trying to teach lawyers to be less "scummy" and was doing it for free, I owe an apology
Oct 13, 2000
In his first hour, The Great Man discussed the attack on an American ship which killed about 16 sailors. TGM explained that the USA will elicit these kind of attacks because we stand for values that evil groups hate.
In the final two hours, DP took calls on whether married couples should stay together for the kids. Most of the male callers said yes. DP noted that boys were less likely than girls to notice that their parents did not love each other.
Though P has liberal positions on divorce, he did not inject much of his own opinion into these two hours.
Oct 11, 2000
In his first hour, DP interviewed a Denver Reform rabbi who kicked the Boys Scouts out of his temple and mailed back his Boy Scout medals. The rabbi disagreed with the Scouts ban on avowed homosexual scout leaders.
DP fights hard on behalf of the Boy Scouts. He listed the growing number of public schools that are now closed to the Scouts for their anti-gay policy. P says this made the case for vouchers even stronger.
In his last hour, DP disagreed with those Jews who are voting for Gore-Lieberman primarily because Lieberman is Jewish. DP says you should vote for who will do the best job for the country. DP enthused over Gore's selection of Lieberman but has never swayed from his choice of voting for Bush - Cheney.
Oct 10, 2000
Dennis Prager read approvingly from these excerpts of the recent Charles Krauthammer column in the Washington Post:
Fighting has broken out in the Middle East, we read. This use of passive phrasing, almost universal in media reports on the violence in Israel, is a way of deliberately expressing agnosticism about the cause of the fighting. It is a scandal. It is akin to writing that on Sept. 1, 1939, war "broke out" on the German-Polish frontier.
Few wars break out spontaneously. And certainly not this one. Does anyone believe that Ehud Barak, who went to Camp David and offered the Palestinians peace terms of breathtaking generosity, would be starting a war? Does anyone believe that the most dovish government in Israeli history, feeling itself just inches away from concluding a permanent peace, would initiate gun battles?
The plain fact is that Yasser Arafat, thrown on the diplomatic defensive by rejecting Barak's offer (to the astonishment and dismay of the American mediators), has done what he has always done: resort to violence to regain the initiative and, most important, mint new underage martyrs--on world television--to regain the international sympathy he had forfeited by turning down peace at Camp David.
His pretext was that the Sept. 28 visit to the Temple Mount by Israel's leader of the opposition so offended Islam that the faithful erupted in violence. The audacity of this claim is astonishing. Yes, the Temple Mount is the third-holiest place in Islam. But it happens to be the single most holy place for Jews. Why does the Muslim claim so trump all others that Jews may not set foot on their most sacred site, their Mecca?
The war that followed was as spontaneous as a Havana demonstration. The preacher at the al-Aqsa mosque called at Friday prayers to "eradicate the Jews from Palestine." Official Palestinian television began playing over and over archival footage of the Palestinian intifada of 1987-1993 showing young people out in the streets throwing stones.
In case one still didn't get the message, Voice of Palestine radio began playing patriotic war songs. Arafat then closed the schools and declared a general strike, causing everyone to go out into the street. With Arafat's chief political lieutenant on the West Bank orchestrating the militias, war then "broke out."
Luke writes: Dennis Prager has long supported the peace process but now he says it is dead. He does not regret his long support. Prager said Israel had to try.
In American political terms, Prager is right of center. In Israeli political terms, he is left of center.
Prager spent all three hours of his show discussing the Arab - Israeli conflict.
Oct 7, 2000
Barnaby writes on alt.radio.talk: I was listening to the first hour of Dennis Prager's show yesterday. He was talking about the VP candidate's debate and basically said that both candidates showed themselves to be men of integrity,...blah blah blah. He then pointed out how Gore selected Lieberman because of his high moral character as it would distance him from the Clinton/Gore scandals. He seemed to scoff at this as a politically calculated move.
Then he talked about Cheney. Here he thought that the selection of Cheney reflected well on GWB because Cheney comes from a state with few electoral votes and he suggested that Bush chose Cheney because of the high caliber man he was and not for some sleazy political reason. This was disingenuous rubbish. It was well speculated at the time of Cheney's selection that he would provide the "gravitas" that the lightweight Bush was missing. So the relationship is complimentary: Gore selects Joe because of the high moral character he seems to lack whereas GWB chooses Dick for the statesmanship he lacks. The way Prager presented this showed serious bias which clouds his ability to analyze. He only sees what serves his anti-liberal bias.
Later on a Democrat called Prager and siad that Joe missed an op to stick it to Dick by bringing up the fact that it was mainly Cheney's idea not to proceed into Baghdad at the close of the Gulf War. Prager said that Lieberman would be foolish to bring this subject up. The caller was justifiably confused. Prager said that the Dem's opposed the Gulf War. The caller pointed out that Gore and Joe both voted in favor of the War. Gore and Lieberman are running for individual offices and not as fully representative of all the Dem's in congress. Prager's argument was stupid sophistry but he stuck to it but finally retreated to wondering that the decision not to march into Baghdad was not clearly right or wrong.
These two examples my friends, occuring in one brief hour of the Prager program, show this guy to be intellectually dishonest. He can pose as the scholarly rationalist but his program ammounts to nothing more than 3 hours of right- wing spin. He's neither honest nor objective.
Oct 5, 2000
Prager spent the first hour of his show criticizing a black radio talkshow host who asked Al Gore why he didn't talk about black issues at the debate. Why didn't Gore discuss breast cancer among black women? Why not reparations? Gore pandered, by implying that because the moderator, Jim Lehrer, was white, that these important issues were not raised.
DP believes strongly in dignity. He conducts himself with such dignity that he comes across to many as arrogant. DP opposes gossip, for instance, largely because it strips people of dignity. DP thought it highly revealing that President Clinton was asked about the type of underwear he wore. It showed Clinton was not a man of dignity.
DP thought it undignified of the radio host to ask Gore about these issues which would largely be of importance to only blacks. DP could not imagine asking the presidential candidates about parochial Jewish issues such as convicted Israeli spy Johnathan Pollard.
In his second hour, DP ridiculed high schools that tested students for nicotene.
In his third hour, DP discussed "family hour," the 8-9PM slot which supposedly is reserved for family friendly programming. DP read examples of great vulgarity during that time slot. DP says it shows that TV is not for kids.
During much of the show, I was in a doctor's office. Dr X, a Jew, became an Orthodox Jew (fully observant of Jewish Law) largely under the influence of Dennis Prager (and also Orthodox Rabbi Yitz--- Ad---). Dr remarked that was ironic, as DP seems to have become less Orthodox over the past 12 years while the Doc has become more observant.
Until 1997, Dennis Prager lived on Canfield St in the modern Orthodox stronghold of Pico-Roberston Blvds in Los Angeles. DP belonged to the modern Orthodox powerhouse synagogue Young Israel of Century City. DP and his wife Fran played in the shul's softball league.
In 1989, Dr X underwent a painful divorce. He called DP on the air to talk about how to best shepherd his kids through the divorce. DP invited him into his office one day and they talked for 90 minutes on this. DP has gone through similar challenges following his 1985 divorce.
I remember in 1991 talking about DP with Rabbi YA. Rabbi YA commented about DP, "Dennnis loves people."
My nurse today told me that the Dennis Prager show played constantly in the doctor's office and how she would always turn it down while the Dr would then turn it up. A black woman, she commented that DP seemed to frequently talk on racism.
DP contributed to John Alston's book "Story Power...Talking to Teens in Turbulent times." Check out JOHNAlston.com. John's a friend of DP's and a big fan. I've heard DP talk on the air about John and praise his work. DP has a powerful array of morally perspicacious friends.
Oct 4, 2000
DP thought George Bush came across as more human than Al Gore at last night's debate. P said he'd respected people who voted for Gore because they agreed with his positions, but he could not respect people who claimed that Gore was personally impressive.
P thinks that Gore is totally scripted. Including his 17 loud sighs during the debate. Gore told GMA that he didn't think his mic was on. P says Gore lied.
Oct 3, 2000
In his first hour, Prager criticized PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) new ad which claims that Jesus was a vegetarian. Prager noted that this was dishonest. We don't have much evidence to support the claim.
And just because Jesus was something (such as single) does not mean that even the Christian should imitate him.
In his second hour, Prager had columnist Bob Greene talk about a case where parents who tortured their kid to death were released from prison after three years.
In his final hour, P discussed a recent column by humorist Dave Barry who poked fun at the Cosmopolitan articles on tips to arouse a man. For a normally attractive woman to arouse a man, she need only breathe. Men are aroused very simply.
Callers pointed out that the articles on foreplay and arousal were more aimed at meeting the needs of the female readers. Reading the articles and imagining the scenarios was arousing for them. They complained that men wanted sex to be like flipping a switch.
A young mother of two infants said her husband was frustrated her lack of interest in sex. She complains that she's too tired now and feels heavily responsible for the kids. She acts like a mother all day, so it is hard for her to transition to being a sexual creature.
Oct 2, 2000
Dennis Prager discussed this recent column by the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer:
When the subject of liberal bias in the media is brought up, particularly during an election campaign, journalists tend to roll their eyes and groan "there you go again" at this recrudescence of an old right-wing shibboleth. This pose, while convenient, was shaken by a famous Roper poll of 139 Washington bureau chiefs and correspondents. It found that in 1992 they had voted 89 percent for Clinton, 7 percent for Bush. Regular Americans had voted Clinton over Bush, 43 percent to 38 percent. The country went marginally for Clinton; the journalists went for him 13 to 1.
In other words, for every seven Bush voters among the American people, there were eight Clinton voters. But for every seven Bush voters in the Washington media, there were 89 for Clinton. Margins of victory that lopsided are rarely seen this side of Syria. Party registration numbers were just as impressively lopsided: 50 percent Democratic, 4 percent Republican.
LF: Then Prager praised an article in Sunday's Washington Post which shows how the media love to run stories that are positive about daycare. And how the media rarely run stories that are negative about daycare.
What accounts for the coverage gap? Murray is a cultural anthropologist who has taught at Brown and Brandeis universities. He suspects that any research suggesting benefits about day care and children's health is given prominent attention, at least in part, because it helps reassure journalists that they're personally doing the right thing for their children. Similarly, stories about problems with day care are ignored or downplayed because they, in effect, tell journalists as well as readers or viewers: You're bad parents. (Also, they tell parents something they already know: It's not news that kids get the sniffles at school or in day care.)
"No doubt many in the media, along with a growing proportion of the population, are working parents plagued by the problem of caring for children," said Murray, who sent his daughter to day care as a 3-year-old. "Hence, there may be pressures to ignore studies that contradict our desires, while studies the reinforce them are assigned greater importance."
DP: We need reporting on reporters. We know next to nothing about the news media and about our judges. We learn in stupid idiotic detail about the lovelives of our politicians. But what about the editors of the New York Times?
In his second hour, DP criticized the American 400 meter relay track team which pranced around the stadium for 20 minutes after its victory Saturday. The four athletes used the American flag as clothing and head covering. They took off their shirts and made muscular poses.
P said the behavior was inappropriate and disrespectful towards the flag, other athletes... The athletes were narcissistic. They exhibited a self obsession that was repulsive.
Some callers wanted to racialize the discussion by noting that the four sprinters were all black. P then mentioned the white American swim team which mocked their Australian competitors.
P: Different classes exhibit their narcissism differently. The middle class is behind the self esteem movement. The New Age movement which holds that God is in me. So study myself. Check out my own navel.
What about Gina Davis showing up to a recent awards ceremony in a see-through outfit? Look at me.
There's a political movement that is obsessed with rights, rather than responsibilities. A sea change took place in the 1960s whereby people became preoccupied with their rights rather than their responsibilities. So my comfort should determine policy and law in this country.
I'm atheist but I want to be a Boy Scout. So the Boys Scouts should have to change their ideals and pledge to suit me. There's a whole industry built around this narcissism - it's called Civil Liberties.
Oct 1, 2000
Dennis Prager writes in Sunday's LA Times:
Little can be done about children and potentially destructive media influences until most parents and the society at large decide that protecting children's innocence is of utmost importance. I am increasingly convinced that robbing children of their innocence is at the root of much later maladjustment in many Americans' lives. There is a time to be a child and a time to be an adult, and when you are deprived of the time to be a child, your adulthood will be adversely affected. Destroying a child's innocence destroys his love of life, enthusiasm and optimism.
There are moral ramifications as well. Jadedness--the opposite of innocence--ought to be regarded as a national epidemic. We are seeing more and more young people at younger and younger ages who have already left behind childhood. Young girls who should have been playing house are instead watching Britney Spears take off much of her clothing at the MTV awards. Parents who would be horrified at their child watching a Joe Camel ad are quite at peace with their child watching a veritable striptease by one of the child's idols.
No wonder the New York Times reported that it is common for sophisticated Long Island preteens to engage in oral sex. They are, in the words of child experts repeatedly quoted in the article, jaded. And jaded children cause the havoc that we see so regularly.
Sep 29, 2000
DP has evolved in his view of abortion to an increasingly hostile one. Though he favors the legalization of abortion in the first trimester, he believes that society should do everything it can to discourage it.
P criticized those who call abortion "a health decision." It's a moral decision.
P doesn't want women to be able to walk in and immediately get the abortion pill ru486 or an abortion. Instead they should get a brochure describing options including adoption.
P: The number of unwanted and abused kids has quadrupled since abortion has been made legal. Maybe the abortion effect is the opposite. Maybe abortion desensitizes people.
P: How can a vegetarian be pro-choice on meat eating? We're often asked to picture how chickens and calves are raised to be slaughtered. I wish that women could have a clear window to see the fetus before they abort.
In his second hour, Prager hosted his best friend Rabbi Joseph Telushkin to talk about the connection between happiness and goodness.
Here's an excerpt from a recent Telushkin speech:
Consider the case of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, a leading rabbinic scholar in Jerusalem who was known as much for his warm heart as for his powerful intellect. One day, the concerned parents of a retarded boy asked him to consult on the choice of an institution for their son. They were considering two alternative facilities, each having certain advantages. The rabbi listened carefully to their description and then asked, "Where is the boy? What does he say about all this?"
The parents looked at each other, abashed. Clearly, it had never entered their minds to discuss the matter with their son. Outraged, the rabbi cried out, "You are committing a sin against the soul of this child! You intend to evict him from his home and consign him to a strange place with a regimented atmosphere. He must be encouraged and not be allowed to feel that he is being betrayed."
Rabbi Auerbach instructed the parents to bring the boy to him. They hurriedly went home and soon returned with the child.
"What is your name?" the rabbi asked him.
"Akiva," he replied. "How do you do, Akiva?" He asked.
Then Rabbi Auerbach, who was known for his exceptional humility, said something very unexpected. "My name is Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. I am the greatest Torah authority of this generation, and everyone listens to me. You are going to enter a special school now, and I would like you to represent me and look after all the religious matters in you new home."
As the boy's eyes remained riveted on the rabbi's face, he said, "I shall now give you rabbinical ordination. This will make you a rabbi, and I want you to use this honor wisely."
This story is an example of moral imagination par excellence. Had the boy been sent away in the manner his parents were planning, he would have felt rejected and betrayed. Instead, because of Rabbi Auerbach's ability to understand what the boy most needed, he went to his new home with a sense of pride and purpose. How could he not have such a sense? After all, he was the representative of the greatest rabbi of his age.
Luke writes: Prager related a story from his 50th birthday party two years ago. His son David, 15 years old at the time, gave a little talk. David said he was most grateful to Dennis for "always being happy."
Rabbi Telushkin said Prager's parents were happy upbeat people.
From today's LA Times, an article on the new TV show "Moral Court":
Still, it's hard not to wonder what a politically conscious guy like [Larry] Elder--whose libertarian views and broadsides directed at other black public figures have often made him a focal point of controversy--is doing in a show like this. "Moral Court" promotes the onetime attorney to judge, dressing him up in robes and asking him to deliver straight-faced moral judgments about a dwarf who objects to another dwarf's participation in "dwarf tossing" or a matchmaking service employee whose co-worker resents her habit of dating the clients.
Elder admitted he wasn't interested when originally approached with the idea, which was subsequently developed featuring KABC-AM colleague Dennis Prager. When Warner Bros., which is distributing the show to TV stations, had trouble selling it with Prager swinging the gavel, the producers returned to Elder, who finally relented and agreed to host. (Prager, who regularly focuses on issues of religion and ethics, remains connected to the project as a consultant.)
Luke reflects: On shabbos, I attended a minyan modeled on the late Hasidic rabbo Shlomo Carlebach. People often spoke about the teachings and personal example of "Reb Shlomo."
I wonder when we will get our first Dennis Prager style minyan. I wonder what it would loook like. Prager has developed no organization to embody and concretize his values. Instead he lacks community. He's a lonely man in Jewish life. All the main streams look at him as eccentric. I've heard many rabbis and Jews learned in sacred text describe Prager's Judaism as Pragerism. There's no Jewish organization which lives his values.
Sep 28, 2000
In his first hour, Prager mentioned the hissing he received at last night's ADL debate with Robert Scheer. Liberal intolerance.
Then P discussed this USA Today article:
Parents should avoid using full-time day care — 30 hours or more a week — for their infants and toddlers if they have a choice, say two of the nation's top child-development experts.
Renowned pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton, 82, and acclaimed child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan, 59, acknowledge that this is a tall order for today's parents, many of whom struggle economically and need two incomes to make ends meet.
But in their new book, The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every Child Must Have to Grow, Learn, and Flourish (Perseus Publishing, $24), they argue at length about the importance of loving, nurturing and stimulating relationships during the first few years of life so that children grow emotionally and intellectually. "Babies learn best from nurturing interactions with their mommies and daddies," Greenspan says. "There's been a tendency during the last few years to whitewash day care and not focus on the challenges."
DP: Just like there is moral pressure to not smoke in front of your kids, there should be moral pressure to stay home with your kids.
A caller discussed the pressure his wife and he receive from their peers to put the kids in daycare. His wife is an RN and most of the nurses have their kids in daycare.
DP: I wonder if mothers of similarly aged children felt strain on their relationship, if one stayed home and another worked.
In his second hour, DP talked with Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer about the elections. CK said they were Al Gore's to lose, and it looked like he might just do that, with all his cynical pandering. CK said Gore's giant strength was his formidable intellect and experience.
CK: Debates aren't won necessarily by the most knowledgeable participant but by the most genial. CK listening to Carter vs Regan thought Carter had won but TV viewers voted decisively for Reagan.
In his third hour, Prager discussed the Olympics and NBC's flagging ratings.
P said he'd pay to watch live coverage of some of the obscure sports like
Sep 27, 2000
In the evening, Dennis Prager debated Los Angeles Times lefty columnist Robert Scheer on the role of religion in politics. And the discussion exemplified a frustration I've had with Prager since I started listening to him in 1988. There are so few people who can match his subtlety and clarity.
Tapes of the debate are available from email@example.com.
Scheer, like most of DP's callers and opponents, was not able to grasp the nuances of Prager's points, which were laid out with typical Prager clarity. So Scheer and members of the audience asking questions reacted as those they were dealing with a typical supporter of the Christian right. They weren't.
Prager emphasized that American Christianity has treated Jews well, and that a less Christian America will not be as good for Jews or for America. So Scheer and others responded by pointing out all the evils that religion has done around the world, from Germany to Iran. Which was not the point.
Prager repeated Joe Lieberman's point that outside of God and religion, there is no objective morality. Prager then crushed the ADL for condemning Lieberman on this.
The ADL means, the Anti-Defamation League of Bnai Brith, a largely secular and liberal Jewish organization (like most non-Orthodox Jewish organizations). The ADL hosted Wednesday night's debate at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City.
The ADL responded to Lieberman's point by arguing that there are many ethical secularists. Which was not the point. A person would have to be a fool to hold that the non-religious can not be ethical, said Prager. But Lieberman was pointing out the intellectually obvious - that without a transcendent source of right and wrong, morality becomes personal opinion.
P mentioned his debate ten years ago with atheist moral philosopher Johnathan Glover of Oxford who conceded that without God and religion, there is no objective standard of right and wrong.
The ADL debate attracted a largely secular and liberal Jewish crowd who repeatedly hissed Prager. He pointed out that this was classic. No conservatives during the evening had hissed Scheer. Conservatives as a rule don't hiss those they disagree with. Hissing is another example of liberal intolerance.
P: "I have no optimism for America if Judeo-Christian values cease to permeate the public and private square in the US. Many Jews are so afraid of Crusades and Inquisitions...but the American Christian experience has been one of tolerance...
"If you fear a Christian dominance of US... Until the 1960s, Christians did dominate. Did we have any pogroms?
"The more we de-Christianize America, the less special the Jews status will be. I don't know a group in history that has taken as many suicidal positions as the typical liberal Jewish group..."
Scheer: I reject that there is some simple calculus of morality if we refer to religion. But religious people disagree on all sorts of moral issues such as capital punishment.
Scheer protested coercive religion.
DP: What about Martin Luther King? He tried to intimidate Americans into dropping racism. You like religious coercion when it supports your values and you dislike it when it opposes your values. So you're not against coercive religion at all.
Liberals coerce people more than religious conservatives. Most new laws, such as sexual harassment, smoking etc come from liberals.
Scheer did not see King and his movement as coercive. Rather, it was open and tolerant.
In the first hour of his nationally syndicated radio show, Dennis Prager discussed this:
Does a woman having an abortion have a right to a dead baby, even if it is born alive?
In the October 2nd issue of Newsweek, George Will writes:
Mr. vice president, do you favor passage of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, or do you believe, as your supporters at the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) do, that a woman who seeks an abortion has an indefeasible right to a dead baby, no matter what?” Here is the story behind that question, which George W. Bush should ask Al Gore next week during the first debate.
THE ACT, authored by Rep. Charles Canady, Republican of Florida, would extend the law’s protections—would protect the right to life—to infants who survive abortions. Such babies sometimes are born as a result of abortions sought because the babies have (or sometimes are mistakenly thought to have) defects like Down syndrome or spina bifida. The House committee that passed Canady’s bill 22 to 1 heard heart-rending testimony about born-alive babies being discarded alive into soiled hospital linen or left on a baby scale, unattended, without warmth or nourishment, their hearts beating and limbs moving, until they died.
Canady’s bill responds to the recent radical extension of the pro-choice agenda. The federal court that overturned New Jersey’s ban on partial-birth abortion cavalierly declared it “nonsensical” and “irrational” to believe that an infant’s physical location relative to the mother has any relevance as to whether she may choose to have it killed. This pushes abortion rights beyond Roe v. Wade ‘s framework. Roe ‘s distinction—now a crumbling wall against infanticide—held that a child’s legal status depended on whether the child was “unborn” or “born”—that is, the status depended on the child’s location in relation to the body of the mother. Now the federal judiciary is close to saying that a child marked for abortion can be killed even if it is born alive. Canady notes that under this new radicalism, “a real child, with an objective existence, is treated as merely a conceptual construct, and in that way, swept aside as though he or she had no existence at all that anyone was obliged to recognize.” The bill would acknowledge that, at the very least, when a baby is fully born it has an intrinsic dignity and a claim to the protection of law, irrespective of whether it is wanted.
Dennis Prager comments: It is vital to me that people understand the consequences of secular thought. What keeps me religious is not religious people but secular people. The consequences of secularism so frighten me that it pushes me into religion.
There are wonderful secular individuals, like Nat Hentoff. He's a secular liberal Jew who's also pro-life.
When I went to graduate school at Colombia University, it changed my life. How many people defended the barbaric practices of communist states. I was shocked by the low moral level of these highly intelligent and secularly educated elite.
I remember how angry someone got at me, when I was in my 20s, for condemning North Korea. And now we know how many thousands of people have starved to death in that cesspool.
Sep 26, 2000
In his first hour, Prager blasted a sex ed survey from the "Kaiser Family Foundation," a liberal group, which says that 85% of respondents say we need more sex ed in public schools. Much of the survey was taken of sex ed teachers but the media did not point this out.
In his second hour, Prager blasted the media attention given to murderers, like John Lennon's killer who's now up for parole.
In his third hour, Prager read from Thomas Friedman's column in today's New York Times:
Mr. Gore has shamelessly offered us instead a fly-by-night plan for putting America out of balance. The new Gore energy theory is to demonize the oil companies, tap into the nation's strategic oil reserve — which only a few months ago he declared shouldn't be touched to manipulate prices — and talk about developing new magic energy-saving technologies that will create jobs in the swing states where Mr. Gore needs to get elected and will allow Americans to keep driving gas-guzzling big cars and indulging their same energy-consuming habits without pain.
Another name for the Gore strategy would be "The Saddam Hussein Rehabilitation Act of 2000." Because tapping into the strategic reserve, without conservation or exploration, only guarantees OPEC's dominance. And when the oil market remains tight, it means that Saddam is in an ideal position to hold America hostage. Any time he threatens to take any of his oil off the market, he can make the price soar.
Mr. Gore's oil pander also reminds many Democrats of what it is that bothers them about the vice president. Many Democrats really are not wild about him, yet they know they have to vote for him over Mr. Bush. They would at least like to feel good about that vote.
But when you hear Mr. Gore bleating that "I will work for the day when we are free forever of the dominance of big oil and foreign oil" — without leveling with Americans that the only way to do that is by us consuming less and drilling more — you just want to cover your ears. Surely Mr. Gore is better than that. Surely Gore supporters are entitled to expect more from him. I guess all they can hope for now is that he will show more spine and intellectual honesty as a president than he has as a candidate. You really start to wonder, though.
Dennis Prager: Which of the two candidates has the strongest character? Clearly it is Bush. Gore is an Olympic panderer.
Slate.com on the latest National Review: A piece attributes the Gore surge among women voters to female ignorance of politics. Polls show that women follow politics much less closely than men, and Gore has done a good job of pandering to their "risk-averse nature" by calling Bush's programs "risky schemes."
Ralph Best writes: No according to master philosopher and boring right wing talk show host Dennis Prager, liberals hate conservatives, while conservatives just disagree with liberals. For example, look at this and other political newsgroups. There has never been a single damning word about liberals from a conservative. In fact all conservatives do is spread peace and love on the internet.
Sep 25, 2000
In his first hour, Dennis described Clinton and Gore are a disgrace to the office of President. Clinton is a bigger disgrace than any other politician in memory, perhaps the biggest disgrace ever to the presidency.
Prager overflowed with contempt for Clinton, Gore. Why? Two recent things - the list of donors who got overnight stays in the Lincoln Bedroom, and the breaching of the strategic oil reserve.
Previously, presidents have given away ambassadorships to big donors. But giving away overnight stays at the White House is far worse.
And Gore's calling for use of the strategic oil reserve for transparently political reasons (to reduce high oil prices, which are particularly unpopular in the Northeast) shows Gore's low level.
P said he's generally held his tongue on Clinton for the past eight years but now he believes the president's harsh critics at the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere were essentially right. P now believes that Clinton bombed Iraq in 1996 for political reasons and bombed that pharmaceutical factory in Sudan in 1998 to deflect attention from the Monica Lewinsky debacle.
Callers told Prager that the Clinton - Gore behaviors were par for the course for politicians.
In his second hour, P pointed out what he thought was a bright spot in America - the unabashed patriotism of its black athletes at the Olympics. In the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City by contrast, several of the winning black athletes pulled black power salutes and hung their heads during the playing of the US national anthem.
In his third hour, P said he understood legislation to ban cell phones. Their use, particularly hand held use, does distract drivers. But P thought there was a big difference between using a hand held phone and one with a remote speaker - microphone setup like he does.
Norm writes Luke: "My problem with Dennis Prager is that I agree with him about 90% of the time but I loathe him. He is a pompous, self-proclaimed spiritual adviser. The worst example of a pharisee since the Holy Gospels."
Sep 21, 2000
In his first hour, Prager discussed this news story:
BOSTON (AP) - When it comes to charity, relatively poor Mississippi and other Bible Belt states are mighty generous, while New England ranks at the bottom in spite of its new economy, ``dot-com'' money. Massachusetts finished dead last for the fourth time in six years in the Generosity Index released Monday.
The 10 most generous states were in the southern Bible Belt, plus the Dakotas and heavily Mormon Utah. Mississippi was at the head of the list with an average itemized charitable contribution of $4,070, even though average adjusted gross income ranked 49th in the nation at $31,056.
The groups presenting the study said cost of living and state tax laws play some role in the differences, as do religious differences - New England has a higher percentage of Catholics, who they said are less likely to give to churches than Protestants who dominate in the South.
McCully said there is also clearly a cultural difference. ``You talk about Southern hospitality,'' McCully said. ``How many people have ever heard of New England hospitality?''
Dennis Prager did not buy the reasons listed by the study. Instead, Prager sees it as primarily a liberal vs conservative difference, and religious vs secular. More religous, more conservative persons feel a greater obligation to give charity while liberals see a more important role for government in these matters.
In his second hour, Prager discussed bullies. How much he hates them and how he'd fight them as a kid. P noted that bullies have high self esteem. And that many criminals have high self esteem. Thus there's no relationship between high self esteem and goodness. Instead of trying to inculcate high self esteem in kids, we should try to inculcate good character. Teach people to earn their self esteem through good deeds.
Third hour. From the 9/18/00 issue of Time magazine: Practically since the Pill was introduced in 1960, women have used it to manipulate the timing of their periods--something the contraceptive was not designed to do. But what has been an off-label practice may soon become mainstream. Researchers at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk are testing a new contraceptive formula, called Seasonale, which can reduce the number of periods a woman experiences to as few as four a year.
Dennis Prager discussed whether this was a good idea. As the hour wore on, he became more skeptical. DP's all for conquering nature, but he wondered if menstruation was not a key part of what makes females feminine. If DP could take a pill every day to skip shaving, he would not do it.
Sep 20, 2000
In his first hour, Dennis Prager decried a Nike ad which spoofed slasher horror movies. The ad shows a chainsaw wielding man stalking a woman (an American Olympic runner) who's getting undressed. He chases her but she outruns him.
DP said it was another example of how all commercial TV is inappropriate for kids. Not even something like the Olympics is ok because of the ads. Most callers agreed.
In his second hour, DP admitted that he'd underestimated George Bush. DP thought Bush came across well on the Oprah Winfrey show. DP says Bush is smarter than he thought. DP quoted his friend Rabbi Joseph Telushkin who says that while not all smart people are funny, all funny people are smart.
A caller said that all questions for Bush were vetted by the Bush team ahead of time, which undercut Prager's sparkling view of the performance.
In his third hour, DP discussed Democratic VP nominee Joe Lieberman's support for the Orthodox Jewish hospital in Jerusalem, Sharii Tzedek, which will not perform invitro fertilization for Jews married to non-jews. Only for two married Jews.
Joe and his wife Hadassah have done lots of fundraising for the hospital. They both say they were unaware of the hospital's policy and disagree with it. DP says you can still support good instutions like Sharei Tzedek even if they have specific policies that you disagree with. DP blamed liberal intolerance for making a big issue out of this.
Sep 18, 2000
Dennis Prager spent his first hour berating the Republicans for not fighting on the right issues. Such as the Democrats support of the war on the Boy Scouts for not admitting avowed homosexuals as scout leaders. That trial lawyers and teachers unions are the biggest supporters of the Democratic Party.
That socialized medicine has been a disaster. Instead, Bush has been trying to compete with Gore on a prescription drug plan. Republicans can't compete with Democrats in offering social goodies.
From today's LA Times: NEW YORK--Fellas, get ready to explore a softer side of style next spring. At least, that's what menswear designers want you, Big Guy, to do. After all, so many of you embraced those cropped pants this summer. You know, the ones women call pedal pushers.
Now, designers are hoping you'll go for the feminization of their spring 2001 menswear collections--softer silhouettes, fabrics and colors. These were the themes of just about every men's collection presented during the first few days of Fashion Week. Even women in the audience--from buyers to journalists to stylists--eyed the clothing for themselves, often exclaiming, "I'd wear that!"
Designers think the modern man wants European styling with American comfort: suits without button-down shirts, shirts without ties, trousers without pleats, shoes without socks. The well-cut, sophisticated suits, worn with sleeveless shirts or stylish T-shirts, offer new pulled-together looks for casual Friday.
Lightweight sweaters--many of them cropped--are sheer enough to show off pecs.
Luke writes: Dennis Prager commented on his nationally syndicated radio show today: This is part of the war on masculinity.
Tom Brokaw called the WWII generation, the greatest generation. This was a masculine generation. Will this feminized generation be better or as good? I don't think so.
DP remembered from his dating days, women telling him, I don't like men who look in the mirror as much as I do.
DP: Isn't life more exciting and joyous when the sexes are different? Yes it is easier to all blend in but life is not as rich.
Prager Doesn't Voice His Own Book on Tape
From RadioDigest.com: KABC's Dennis Prager wrote a best-selling book last year called, "Happiness Is A Serious Problem."
If you order the "book on tape" version -- it is actually voiced by somebody else! How could a radio guy let somebody else do the voice-over work for his best selling book on tape? Isn't that kind of like when a journalist writes a book, and it's ghost written by somebody else? It makes no sense.
Sep 14, 2000
DP spent his first two hours discussing the violent televised arrest of a man in Miami who shot at police and drove over sidewalks trying to get away (but did not kill anybody). When Miami police arrested the man, they punched and kicked him three times.
DP did not have a big problem with the behavior of the police. But many callers did. Prager asked them, what if the driver had run over ten kids and killed them? Would they still object to the beating of the driver? Most of the objecting callers still objected to the police beating a killer.
What about kids watching the beating? DP says he's not worried about televised violence against bad guys. When his young son sees a shoot 'em scene, he immediately asks DP who are the bad guys? This pleases DP.
In his third hour, DP discussed a Salon.com article on "Does Hollywood Ostracize Conservatives?" Of course answered the article and DP.
From the Salon.com article:
"Hollywood [liberals] are very adamant and almost militant about their views," Bo Derek recently told the New York Post. "It's tough to have a nice, open conversation of any kind. People get really angry, and they treat me as though I'm some hateful monster. I have been told that I'll never work again."
"For all of our artistic inclinations," actor Tom Selleck told George magazine last month, "Hollywood has never been a very tolerant place."
Sep 13, 2000
Dennis Prager says society should make at least as much effort to enforce laws about R-rated movies as with cigarettes. Kids under 17 yo should not be allowed in without a parent.
Sep 12, 2000
Prager devoted his first hour to this front page article in the New York Times on the subliminal "rat" message in a recent George Bush TV ad:
The announcer starts by lauding George W. Bush's proposal for dealing with prescription drugs, and criticizes the plan being offered by Vice President Al Gore. Fragments of the phrase "bureaucrats decide" — deriding Mr. Gore's proposal — then dance around the screen.
Then, if the viewer watches very closely, something else happens. The word "rats," a fragment of the word "bureaucrats," pops up in one frame. And though the image lasts only one-thirtieth of a second, it is in huge white capital letters, larger than any other word on the commercial.
Luke: Prager thought the hubbub over this was ridiculous. DP says the NY Times is doing all it can to get Al Gore victory.
Prager condemned the use of the subliminal message in the ad and Prager says the person who did it should be fired.
In his final two hours, DP discussed fights among parents over their young kids' sporting events. DP says he does not care much if his son David, a senior in High School, wins his basketball games.
DP: In the secular lives of many Americans, something has to fill that void that religion once filled. Many people turn to sports to fill that void.
A civilization that does not protect its children is in decline. The rampant obscenities one hears in high schools and colleges. Pop music lyrics. The movement to equate humans and animals as equal in value. Today you can't allow your kids to go to a newsstand because they might see a bent over naked woman on a magazine cover.
Sep 11, 2000
Bare midriffs, panties and belly rings
Dudley Moore writes Luke: Let me express myself on the relatively recent fad of bare midriffs, panties and belly rings. I believe the meta-message the girls are sending is "Look, my belly is flat, I won't get pregnant, and since you can see my panties, you know that I know that sex is just for fun, not babies. That means you know that I'd be a cool girl to have a relationship with, so that I can thereby have value to my other girlfriends. After all, I wouldn't want to lose the chance for a relationship with a boy just because I seem unavailable for sex. And my girlfriends would think I was a social nobody if I didn't have a boyfriend or sex, since I'd have nothing interesting to talk about." I really believe this is the social content. In fact, before the pill, women used to base their value as women on their ability to get pregnant. Now, young women value their flat bellies and ability to remain sterile, often for at least a decade after reaching adulthood. The world is getter ever faster and more anonymous, Luke, with nothing to slow it down! DO SOMETHING!!!!
Luke: I heard Dennis Prager today comment on the rash of female athletes posing nude. And the near nude antics of Brittany Spears at the Emmys. Prager said that feminism has robbed women of ways to be feminine by denying the basic differences between men and women. So women are reduced to showing off their anatomical differences with men to prove their femininity. Traditionally, women have demonstrated femininity through more subtle means, such as virtue, chastity, propriety, empathy, etc.
DP began his show chuckling at the Democrats threats to pass legislation to bring Hollywood into line. DP found it funny because Hollywood has donated about $14 million this year to the Democrats.
The Democrats have been unafraid to use the machinery of big government to bring industries like tobacco into line. Now they're ready to gore their own - Hollywood. You can't train sharks to only attack bad people, says DP. The Democrats started this program of harassing businesses they didn't like. Now they're going after Hollywood.